On Monday evening, June 12th, the Warrensburg, Missouri City Council convened for a regularly scheduled meeting. In contrast to the two previous meetings the gallery, while populated, was not packed. The large contingent of hand-wringing pearl-clutching bigots at the previous city council meetings did not appear to be in attendance.
During the public comment portion of the agenda:
…Today I address you as a private citizen. First and foremost, I must apologize. I’ve not been as available to the public in my role as DIC [Warrensburg Diversity & Inclusion Commission] Chair I’ve been preoccupied and, thusly, unaware of some circumstances that transpired at our annual Pride Month event that was held on June 3rd. Specifically, the clear and present danger of threats of violence made against citizens of our community in a direct effort to instill fear and prevent rightful citizens from creating a more inclusive and safer place for the LGBTQIA+ community.
As this meeting marks our city’s resolve to commit to being the community of inclusion, I wish to publicly condemn threats of violence against other groups within our community.
I will not relitigate the events of the past, nor will I engage in a circular debate about beliefs or ideology. This is for another time.
What I offer instead is a reminder to all about our fundamental American beliefs in tolerating the opinions of other. And engaging in peaceful protest or debate with people who hold different views than our own.
Fear, threats of violence, and plans to commit violence to submit others into compliance are tools of Fascists, extremists, and terrorists. They are un-American.
We must be mindful of the tactics we use to express our outrage and our viewpoints. Thus, we embrace the ideals that we as Americans have sworn to defend against.
To members of the LGBTQIA+ community on attendance and those streaming online, and for those of you here, I’d hope you’d tell them the same, I will not tell that the journey to equality will be peaceful, simple, and trouble free. They may already know this by now. Instead, what I will share with you is that you are loved, you have a right to exist, to be heard, and to be treated justly as every other person who calls Warrensburg home.
There are many in our community who would stand behind you to propel your fight forward, others who will stand by your side to march with you towards equality, and there are others, like me, who will stand in front of you to embrace and shield you from the hate, vitriol, abuse, ignorance, and fearmongering.
You are not alone. Continue to inspire change. Continue to embrace the struggle, resist, and confront ignorance. Break down barriers.
In time we may be able to be part of a more inclusive world, but at the very least we can create one for those who follow after us.
Happy Pride Month.
Thank you all for your time.
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Pride Festival – Warrensburg, Missouri – June 4, 2022 (June 4, 2022)
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